John Alechenu, Abuja
Stakeholders and aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State have cautioned the party against acts capable of ruining the party’s chances in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Spokesman for the stakeholders and Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, gave the words of caution at a media briefing at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He noted that it was no longer news that the Abia State chapter of the (PDP, has been grappling with self-inflicted problems that could lead to a major destructive implosion.
Abaribe explained that at the centre of the vexed issues is what he referred to as the obvious manipulation by a tiny segment of the State Executive Committee of the party to yield to plots at subverting the democratic process, which is geared towards achieving a predetermined goal of imposition at all levels.
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The Senate Minority Leader said, “We are therefore here in our party’s Abuja National headquarters to alert the party and the Nigerian public of this ugly development, which if not stopped could spell doom for the party ahead of the 2023 general election not only in Abia State but in the South East as a whole.
“There was not and has never been any Ward Congress to elect the 3-man Adhoc delegates in Abia State. The congress, earlier scheduled to hold on 30th April, 2022 was cancelled due to a court order and therefore, could not hold. It was re-scheduled to hold on May 4th 2022.
“It also failed to hold on that date because of a public holiday declared in Abia State and since then none has been held, nor has there been any communication for another congress by PDP National Headquarters.
“This can be verified vide an official letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that confirmed the last official communication between it and PDP to the effect that no congresses to elect the 3-man Ad-hoc delegates for the party primary elections has held up till today.
“We heard via rumours that there is a list of adhoc delegates flying around and in the custody of the NWC purporting it to have been a product of a congress held on 6th May 2022.
“It is preposterous that what is being bandied as a list emanated from an imaginary congress conducted vides a letter of notice to the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner signed by the Abia State Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Allwell Asiforo Okere. The implication being that the functions of NEC and NWC was performed by a State Chairman of the party and NOT the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP.”
While urging the party to disregard the list, Abaribe said, “The National Legal adviser, we believe, knows the implications of going ahead to use such legally unknown delegates in the primary elections and should advise the NWC accordingly, unless the party wants to enjoy the unenviable luxury of walking towards self-destruction.
The aspirants urged the party’s National Executive Committee to avoid untoward consequences by using only statutory delegates for the primaries since it was now obvious that that it can no longer give the statutory seven days’ notice to the Independent National Electoral Commission to hold a congress in the state to elect the three adhoc delegates.
Abaribe further said, “As party members who love and cherish our great party it is also our duty to lend our voice and contribute towards steering it out of a potentially calamitous journey which will likely lead Abia PDP to have NO candidates in the 2023 elections.
“We therefore urge the NWC of our great party to use only statutory delegates for the forthcoming primaries to avoid a looming disaster for all our aspirants at all levels in Abia State. While doing this we also wish to let the NWC know that we have also heard of plans to doctor the authentic Statutory Delegate list.
“We know who the statutory delegates are and have therefore as a matter of urgency applied for the Certified True Copy of the list from the National Organizing Secretary of the party and from INEC.” Others who attended the briefing included: Hon Ude Oko Chukwu (Deputy Governor, Abia & Gubernatorial Aspirant), Hon Uzoma Nkem Abonta (Member, House of Representatives & HOR Aspirant), and Senator Emma Nwaka (Fmr State Chairman, PDP Abia & Gubernatorial Aspirant and Engr Enyinna Nwafor (Gubernatorial Aspirant), among others .